Randall was originally from Liverpool, and a close friend of TJ’s father John. Randall was also involved both of John’s sons as they grew up, and TJ says they played many golf tournaments together once he picked up the sport.
“He was a close uncle figure to my brother an I,” he says.
TJ says Randall was a very outgoing guy as well, the type that knew everybody.
Randall was the general manager of St. Mary’s University football team, which also gives him a connection to Boston as well.
“When he was at St Mary’s, he had a lot of players come up from New England, so he has a lot of connections to the Boston area,” he says. Many of the players still kept in contact with Randall after leaving university.
TJ works with Manulife Financial out of Halifax as an account executive, and was one of 100 employees in the company chosen to be part of the Boston Marathon. Employees also have to raise money for the company’s charity, Habitat for Humanity. That actually worked out very well for a fundraiser in Randall’s memory.
“Dave was very involved with habitat through the St. Mary’s football team. They would go out to the builds around Halifax,” he says.
The Boston Marathon isn’t something you can just pick up on a whim though. TJ started training in September, starting with 3-5 km several times a week and running 10 km races on Sunday. Now he’s up to 8-10 km a week, and 25 km on Sundays.
This will also be his first marathon as well, though he has done a few half marathons and a 30 km race.
“This is the next step, 42 kilometres.”
Training can eat up a fair bit of time as well, with preparation, running and the cool down.
“The long runs can take a few hours,” he says, but adds it’s an enjoyable experience.
“It gives you more energy, just being that much more active than I was before.”
He figures he and most of the other Manulife employees will be towards the back of the pack, but running the race is about raising the money, not posting the best time. His goal is to complete the race however.
Manulife set a $1,500 goal for each employee, though TJ himself wanted to raise $2,000. Already though he’s blown past that goal and raised close to $6,000.
“The support has been overwhelming. I’ve had more donations than any other Manulife employee so far,” he says.
Anyone interested in donating can go to http://goo.gl/VJf1p for more information. Tax receipts are available for anyone that donates as well.
The Boston Marathon takes place on April 16.